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Record Details

Record 25 of 1719
Triton's Distorted Atmosphere
Offline Availability: Go to Request Form
External Online Source: doi:10.1126/science.278.5337.436
Author and Affiliation:
Elliot, J. L.(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA United States)
Stansberry, J. A.(Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ United States)
Olkin, C. B.(Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ United States)
Agner, M. A.(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA United States)
Davies, M. E.(RAND Corp., Santa Monica, CA United States)
Abstract: A stellar-occultation light curve for Triton shows asymmetry that can be understood if Triton's middle atmosphere is distorted from spherical symmetry. Although a globally oblate model can explain the data, the inferred atmospheric flattening is so large that it could be caused only by an unrealistic internal mass distribution or highly supersonic zonal winds. Cyclostrophic winds confined to a jet near Triton's northern or southern limbs (or both) could also be responsible for the details of the light curve, but such winds are required to be slightly supersonic. Hazes and clouds in the atmosphere are unlikely to have caused the asymmetry in the light curve.
Publication Date: Oct 17, 1998
Document ID:
19990019276
(Acquired Feb 27, 1999)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Document Type: Reprint
Publication Information: Science; Volume 278; 436-439
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NAG5-3940
Financial Sponsor: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD United States
Organization Source: Massachusetts Inst. of Tech.; Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Cambridge, MA United States
Description: 6p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution within the U.S. granted by agreement
NASA Terms: TRITON; STELLAR OCCULTATION; LIGHT CURVE; MIDDLE ATMOSPHERE; DISTORTION; FLATTENING; ASYMMETRY; MASS DISTRIBUTION; HAZE; CONFINEMENT
Availability Notes: US Distribution and Sales Only
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